Criminal gangs threaten African rhinos

The rise of organised criminal gangs trading in rhino horns has boosted poaching in some parts of Africa, putting the endangered animals at risk, Reuters reported conservation groups as saying on Wednesday.
Although international trade in rhino horns is banned, many in Asia and the Middle East believe them to be a powerful medicine and a status symbol, and will pay high prices for the horns.
Increased demand from countries such as China and Yemen is driving the illegal trade in Africa, with Zimbabwe and Congo having the worst records in poaching and seizures of illegal shipments, wildlife trade monitor TRAFFIC and environmental group WWF said during a two-week meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
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                                photo by Michael Poliza